Rather than use flesh-and-blood warriors, the Separatists prefer mindlessly loyal soldiers that are unquestioning of orders, and easily controlled. The soulless ranks of their battle droid armies consists of tall, thin robotic soldiers with exposed joints and bone-white or rust brown metal finishes that gives them an eerie resemblance to animated skeletons. Battle droids are very efficient, and can be controlled from centralized command centers, like the enormous Droid Control Ships used by the Trade Federation. They are dim-witted, often suffering programming glitches that give them quirky personalities that are too slow to adapt to enemies like Jedi Knights and clone troopers.
One of the wealthiest corporate organizations in the galaxy, the Trade Federation controlled most of the interstellar shipping passing through the Rim territories. The Trade Federation was headed by Viceroy Nute Gunray, and even had its own representative in the Republic Senate to lobby for even greater power. On the orders of Darth Sidious, the Trade Federation sent its battle droids to invade Naboo to create a government crisis. During the Clone Wars, the Trade Federation secretly signed on as a member of Count Dooku's Separatist organization, though representatives in the Senate tried to deny this.
In the final days of the Republic, the galactic government had grown so huge and corrupt that any attempt at change required radical thinking and extreme actions. Outlying systems that saw no benefit from being part of the Republic despite paying heavy taxes, began to rebel. This undercurrent of disgust towards Coruscant was seized by a charismatic leader, Count Dooku. The former Jedi rallied together these worlds in a Separatist movement that saw the departure of thousands of systems from the Republic. When Dooku's alliance was secretly backed by corporate titans that offered their unlimited droid armies to the cause, the Separatists emerged as a major threat to the Republic, and the galaxy tipped towards full scale war.
STAPs are lightweight reconnaissance and patrol vehicles used by the battle droids of the Trade Federation army (and later, the Separatist Alliance). Incorporating repulsorlift technology, the STAP (single trooper aerial platform) is a slim, agile craft sporting a pair of blaster cannons. STAPs are often deployed as support vehicles in conjunction with larger craft.
Lok Durd, a weapons developer and general in the Separatist army, conceived of the Defoliator as a means of eradicating living troops and terrain while leaving the battle droid forces unscathed. Once detonated, a Defoliator capsule creates a growing radius of destructive energy that scorches all living matter in its path. To launch these specialized warheads, Durd developed the DDT -- the Defoliator deployment tank -- a modified AAT that can support a heavy artillery launcher as its primary turret armament. For increased stabilization, the tanks lower skirt extends further back than a standard AAT, increasing the length of the vehicle to over 12 meters.
A clumsy, well-meaning Gungan outcast on Naboo, Jar Jar Binks struggled to prove his worth throughout his life. Putting his awkward past behind him, Jar Jar left the swamps of Naboo to enter the even murkier waters of Coruscant politics, becoming a representative for his people in the galactic capital. There, his best intentions and eagerness to serve were exploited by scheming Senators and others in positions of power.